The third NCSW: 170 events, 5 million people & personal relationships at the heart of it all

Whether Catholic sisters were hosting game nights, planning art exhibits, coordinating service projects or launching book clubs, personal relationships were at the heart of this year’s NCSW, which marked its third celebration. The celebration became truly grassroots, inspiring NCSW-related events in at least 28 states.

"We had 170 events that we know of and reached 5 million people," Executive Director Molly Hazelton told The National Catholic Reporter. "I think we really knocked it out of the park."

Feedback from participants has been incredibly positive, Molly told NCR. "We're really pleased with how things went," she said. "We're sitting here looking at the numbers and going, 'Wow.'"

Of course, St. Catherine University in St. Paul, where NCSW was born, hosted a number of special events too, including a fascinating exhibit of religious habits. Digital Strategist Garrett Tiedemann created this guided tour of the exhibit and published the audio from a panel of four sisters who discussed the habit to kick off the exhibit on the first day of NCSW.

Meanwhile, and in keeping with the spirit of NCSW, close bonds between college students and Catholic sisters continue to be forged through SisterStory oral histories, which are regularly chronicled through a joint blog on SisterStory.org. "I don’t know what I would have done this semester without the friendship of Sister Jean Marie and all the people that I came into contact with through this project," wrote a senior at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich. "It is not often that you can say that a school project changed your life, but for me this is true."

About Christina Capecchi

Christina Capecchi is an award-winning journalist from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She is the author of the nationally syndicated column “Twenty Something,” which appears in more than 50 Catholic newspapers across the country. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, America, The Chicago Tribune, The Star Tribune and The Pioneer Press. She also provides contracted editing and writing services. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s from Mount Mercy University.